Are you #breastfeeding? Thinking about whether to get the #COVID19 #vaccine?


This is a thread for you!

People who are breastfeeding can sometimes get forgotten in the focus on pregnancy. But your questions matter too! And I particularly want to make space to address those questions because a lot of people have contacted me, worried about one particular blog post... 2/
I'll get to that later. But let's start by saying that @RCObsGyn and @MidwivesRCM recommend the COVID vaccine if you are breastfeeding. 3/…
There are a number of reasons for this.

First, the vaccine protects you. It can be easy to put yourself in second place when you have a new baby, but you are important and your health matters! 4/
Protecting yourself is also good for your baby.

You are much better able to look after your baby if you are well.

We also know from other infectious diseases that the person most likely to give an infection to baby is a family member. Vaccination reduces this risk. 5/
We also know that, after vaccination, breast milk contains antibodies that are expected to give your baby some protection against COVID.

Too many studies show this now for me to go through them one by one. But you can find them here under q10... 6/…
So much for the benefits of vaccination, for you and your baby. But is it safe?

Our national vaccine safety surveillance scheme, Yellow Card, finds no evidence that vaccination while breastfeeding causes any harm to breastfed babies and children. 7/…
That blog post I mentioned makes two safety claims. And judging by my inbox, they're worrying people. So let's tackle them here... 8/
The first is that vaccine mRNA makes it into breast milk, and that this could be concerning.

Two studies have not been able to find vaccine mRNA in breast milk. One, that concentrated the milk first, was about to find about 2 parts per billion in 3 out of 10 milk donors. 9/
To put 2 parts per billion into context, that is equivalent to squirting a half syringe of Calpol (2.5 ml) into an Olympic swimming pool and giving it a good mix. You're not going to get a lot of Calpol back. 10/
The authors of the study called this "minimal" transfer of vaccine and concluded,

"Lactating individuals should continue breastfeeding in an uninterrupted manner after receiving SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccination." 11/…
Even a larger transfer would not be particularly concerning, since the vaccine will be broken down in the gut (if it wasn't, we would administer vaccines orally, which is much nicer than by injection!)

More about this here... 12/

The second claim from this blog post, is that there is a report in VAERS of a baby who got thrombocytopaenia after their mother was vaccinated. 13/
But remember that VAERS collects reports of events that have happened after vaccination, but until these events are investigated we can't say if they're caused by vaccination. 14/
In any case, people who have tried to confirm the veracity of this report have been unable to. So it might even be the case that this never actually happened. 15/…
So #COVID19 #vaccination in those who are #breastfeeding...

👉🏻 Recommended by professional bodies

👉🏻 Protects you and your baby

👉🏻 Safe

PS. I've been in two minds as to whether to link to the blog post, since the last thing I want to do is spread misinformation. But I think it may enhance the ability of those who are worried about this to find this thread, the blog post is here...…
... and a more detailed response to it than I've set out above is here...

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More from @VikiLovesFACS

14 Oct
Wondering if antibodies raised against #COVID19 #vaccines can bind to the placental protein syncytin-1 and harm #fertility?


Out yesterday! More data that addresses this question!

Spoiler alert: they don’t... 🧵…
But why would anyone even think that such a thing might happen? Is it even worth researching?

The rumours that COVID19 vaccines would impact fertility were started by a vaccine skeptic who proposed that this might occur, so this is something that a lot of ppl may have heard. 2/
People who work in this area never thought this was very likely, for a number of reasons.

Not least, if this did happen COVID 🦠 would be associated with infertility or problems in early pregnancy, and luckily we don’t see that. 3/

Read 7 tweets
12 Oct
A question I get asked *a lot* is…

“What are the long-term effects on babies born after #COVID19 #vaccination in #pregnancy?”

So let’s talk about what we know… 🧵
Let’s start by looking at the effects at birth. We now have eight large datasets from four countries looking at almost 79,000 people vaccinated in pregnancy. The outcomes for the babies are all normal. 2/
(The CDC has recently put out data from 2 more US studies, bringing the total to 10. But there is some overlap between the participants in these studies and the ones quoted above, so I didn't add those in as unique participants.)

From V-safe... 3/

Read 12 tweets
8 Sep
This study looked at the effectiveness of the Pfizer #COVID19 #vaccine in #pregnancy.

👉🏻 96% effective vs. any infection

👉🏻 97% effective vs. symptomatic infection

👉🏻 89% effective vs. hospitalisation

A few additional points…

Why is effectiveness vs hospitalisation lower than against all infection? This is the opposite of what we see in larger studies of the whole population, eg. this PHE data… 2/…
Very few people were hospitalised (5/10,861 in the unvaccinated group compared to 0/10,861 in the vaccinated group).

This means the confidence interval for effectiveness vs hospitalisation was wide (43 - 100%) which is likely to have lowered the central estimate. 3/
Read 6 tweets
17 Aug
On holiday without much in the way of internet, but wow! My notifications blew up when I hit some WiFi this afternoon. A few points on this… 1/
First, I’m surprised neither of them checked our national guidance, which is set out in detail for medical professionals here… 2/…
Or the guidance from @RCObsGyn and @MidwivesRCM, which makes a clear recommendation that #pregnant people get the #COVID19 #vaccine. You can find it here… 3/…
Read 7 tweets
13 Aug
New data from the V-safe pregnancy registry on the safety of #COVID19 #vaccines in #pregnancy!

👉🏻 2456 people vaccinated before 20 weeks of pregnancy

👉🏻 Followed up to 20 weeks

👉🏻 No increased risk of miscarriage following vaccination.

This is a follow-up to this older study in the same cohort. The older version of the study showed no increased risk of miscarriage following vaccination, but the follow-up time was shorter (10-12 weeks). 2/…
Although the data from this study was reassuring, the limited follow-up time made it difficult to exactly calculate the miscarriage rate following vaccination, so an estimate was used.

I’ve discussed that here… 3/
Read 11 tweets
10 Aug
Who's been waiting for UK data on the safety of #COVID19 #vaccines in #pregnancy? 💉🤰🏽🇬🇧🤔


Well now we have some!

(TLDR: No concerns arising from this study)... 🧵…
This study looked at people coming to give birth at St George's hospital in London between March 1st and July 4th 2021.

141 had had at least one dose of a COVID vaccine

1187 were unvaccinated. 2/
(And for those always on the hunt for data about the AstraZeneca vaccine in pregnancy... 13 of the vaccinated people had had AZ.) 3/
Read 7 tweets

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